CENTER CHURCH – Tim Keller
(Ivy GG notes – much of this material comes from today’s Ivy GG Leaders Day; thanks so much to all who made time to attend and for all you’re doing at ‘the church that meets at your house.’)
I have been very inspired as I read Tim Keller’s latest book, Center Church.
Check out the video summary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_ZWlPUmVug
I downloaded it on my Kindle and began to highlight in yellow important phrases and concepts as is my usual practice, but there’s so much there it ended with what looks like a Christian version of the Yellow Pages!
Do you read regularly or is that something you find hard to make time for? If so how might you overcome that challenge so you keep on growing?
What have you read recently that’s encouraged, inspired or challenged you?
I outlined my understanding of what I’d read in the book to our leaders as follows:
The ‘model’ of church isn’t what’s most important.
We have at one end (D.F.) the DOCTRINAL FOUNDATION. What we believe – and as a result of that there will be some things we don’t believe too). We have a central core of belief – the Gospel – that doesn’t change.
DISCUSS: What is ‘The Gospel’? What’s the Good News as your group understands it?
Look up the word ‘gospel’ now in a concordance. Have you covered any of the elements of what the Bible says the gospel is?
Keller is keen to stress the gospel is good news about what’s been done FOR us.
As I read I thought, ‘It’s not divine rehab but divine rescue.’
Optional question: How might we twist this message and make it either ‘Good things we out to try to do’ (RELIGION) or ‘We don’t have to live holy lives because God will forgive us anyway?’ (IRRELIGION). Keller says the gospel is neither of those two, but something entirely different; GRACE!
At the other end we have (M.E.) the MINISTRY EXPRESSION(S) – What we DO because of what we believe. Our church services in the club, cinema, warehouse, your home – are all ministry expressions. What else can you think of that are ministry expressions? Ministry Expressions CAN change – whether we like change or not, it happens all the time. Some people get frightened by the pace of change and might want Ivy to just go back to doing things ‘the way we used to do them.’ Here’s a picture someone just sent me of that that might look like:
(Consider this a caption competition! Thanks to Paul Nattrass’ Dad.
Comment at the bottom -winner gets a free copy of either of my three books they’d like)
In the centre is our (T.E) THEOLOGICAL VISION. – Who we ARE (because of what we believe).
Around Ivy we’d call that our DNA I suppose, it’s what makes us distinctive.
You can download the DNA here if you want to look at it in more detail but from the earliest days – even before we had the banner and the pram push down the street, Ivy was founded to be Relevant to people far from God, Confident in God, Welcoming because nobody’s perfect and all things are possible, Outward-Looking because our God is on a mission in the world and wants us to join him, and Adventurous because nobody ever really met with Jesus and stayed the same.
DNA is important in how you replicate. Spend some time discussing our DNA.
Read John 20:10-18
Notice: Jesus said, “Go…and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Tell the people next to you, ‘You have your Father’s DNA!’ We don’t need divine rehab but divine rescue has happened so now his Divine DNA is at work in you!
PRAY for one another.
Pray for me!
Pray for our church, and especially the new ‘Ministry Expression’ at Ivy Sharston – and please plan to join us for its launch Sept 21st 4pm at the Message, Lancaster House, Harper Rd, Sharston M22 4RG